“But they’ve got a long way to go, and about four days to get there.”

Big change in philosophy on the offensive line, as Georgia’s decided to go with something close to a nine-man rotation there.  Bobo and Friend are considering a different set of linemen on every series.

That’s a departure from the strategy that worked the past few years, when after rough starts to the season the team settled on a front five and stuck with it. But offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said this year’s season opener at Clemson convinced him that they needed to use more players.

“I told you all after the first game I thought we got tired up front,” Bobo said. “At the end of the second quarter and fourth quarter playing 40 snaps. We had to IV a couple guys at halftime. We needed to roll those guys to keep those guys fresh. Not just at receiver or running back but offensive line too. I think it’s good for morale. How many snaps they get depends on how good they do in their series. But it’s more about keeping those guys fresh. … We lost some of our edge because I thought we were more mentally and physically fatigued in that Clemson game.”

They started down that road against North Texas and the results, as Friend admits, weren’t that great.  Then again, when you rack up close to 650 yards of offense, maybe fresh is better than great.

The only thing that makes me a little nervous is that the one guy they don’t plan on subbing is Andrews.  You know LSU’s got some big boys at defensive tackle who will be coming to play.  Better hope Andrews has another South Carolina effort in him this Saturday.

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26 Comments

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26 responses to ““But they’ve got a long way to go, and about four days to get there.”

  1. kckd

    The best they’ve looked is SCU and that was great. Don’t get this really. But don’t really care as long as it works.

    • It goes back to something Emerson said. The line isn’t overly talented, but when the linemen scratch and claw on every play, they’re effective. As stellar as Georgia’s skill position talent is, effective’s good enough, I think.

      • mdcgtp

        I think that is correct. This is not an all american OL, but theoretically, it should be a bit more consistent than it has been because we have depth and veterans. The theory in summer was competition for playing time would make them all better. I think to some degree that has materialized, but I think this is phase 2, where we figured out where everyone is best suited. The question becomes do the benefits of being able to have guys well rested outweigh the continuity that is lost from rotating guys. My guess is that is why we are settling guys into specific roles. We have enough guys all of similar enough abilities that the benefits of specialization outweigh the versatility from cross training. Quite frankly, if you have 8-9 guys, you should be able to specialize.

        Bottom line – I expect them to play better saturday. this is a prideful group that responded to doubts and criticism a year ago. they are not always perfect, and certainly gurley and aaron have made up for their shortcomings, but my guess is that this is a week where we will see them make best efforts “impose their will” on the defense.

      • there’s a reason OL normally don’t rotate. Cohesion > fresh legs there. If we can gel while rotating, that’s great, but it’s not easy.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Sounds kind of like they are planning on rotating entire groupings which could help on the cohesion front.

          • IveyLeaguer

            It does. Interesting thought. They must trust that the #6-9 OL are solid in the offense and knowing what to do, and have sufficient reps.

            I like the idea, if it works. Being fresh does help when you’re overmatched, and I think we are by LSU’s front.
            ~~~

  2. I wonder if it will just take a little while for the guys to get used to that kind of rotation? If they can get the swing of it I can see this paying off down the stretch.

  3. Nice to have 2 deep ain’t it. Been a while.

  4. RP

    Two things: #1 I think Andrews is fine. The only bad game I’ve noticed out of him was Clemson. That holding call on him last week was BS.
    #2 I’ve been reading comments from what appear to be fairly intelligent LSU fans on another site. Almost all of them say the same thing: Their two starting DT’s are outstanding, but there is no one behind them off the bench. Also, they have some issues at LB. The rotation strategy is likely designed to take advantage of this. Maybe we can do what Bama did to us last year.

  5. Irwin R Fletcher

    Well…on the first missed assignment, if any, I know what’s going to be going through my head…the Sheriff Buford T Justice theme music.

    I wonder if Coach Friend chastises the line with lines like ‘there is no way …no way… that you could come from my loins’

  6. Bright Idea

    Too many good ole’ boys to hide. At least Bobo admitted they are not in good enough condition.

  7. Gene Simmons

    Hopefully Gurley will be feeling this BTJ line:
    “You got trouble comin’-BIG trouble!

    • W Cobb Dawg

      We also need Marshall to make some decent yardage when Gurley’s getting a breather. And/or call Hicks’s number for more than a couple runs. Need more than the 2 yards and a cloud of dust on the way to the obligatory 3-and-out.

  8. FisheriesDawg

    Re: Andrews

    Center is probably the position on the line that can most afford to play every snap if guys are getting fatigued. Particularly for the tackles, having to deal with the threat of an outside rush (and the speed/quickness that comes with it) can often fatigue you a lot quicker than the blocks a center usually has to pull off, unless you’ve got him constantly going after middle linebackers at the second level.

  9. Nervousness is bad for the heart. I say,,, let us seek wisdom. Gonna need a little help here from Uncle George Dickel. Lord, let us check our blood pressure regularly. Stop at any Fire Station…those Boys will help you! God Bless ‘em!

  10. Skeptic Dawg

    I continue to be amazed by this O-line. Andrews, Gates and Houston have stood out for bad play. Andrews is just undersized. Houston is still coming along after a 3 year layoff. Gates is playing out of position. The fact that these 3 guys are still starting/seeing massive playing time speaks to the lack of quality O-line we have in Athens. And I have not even mentioned Theus. This kids took his lumps last year as a freshman, and he continues to have inconstant games this year. The coaches rave about his technique, but it has yet to translate into a complete game. With an overmatched center, a LT that struggles mightily, a backup that looks lost routinely, and a RT that plays up and down, it is incredible that this offense is capable of such huge numbers.

  11. Derek

    I’m glad to see Brandon “I kill kids” Kublanow getting some reps at guard. That guy likes to hurt people.